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.             refer to
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IMAGINE IF YOU WILL – THE EASTER EXPERIENCE
.                             – written by Tanis Harms
TOPIC:        Easter story, salvation
SCRIPTURE:    John 3:16
Style:        interactive/conversation: narrator helps us
.             to imagine what it would have been like
.             when Jesus came to earth to die for us
Cast:         NARRATOR;
.             READER (optional, narrator can do this);
.             EXTRAS (optional, narrator can
.             get the congregation to act/feel along
.             with what the narrator is suggesting)
Set & Props:  palm branches (optional)

SCRIPT:

(NARRATOR enters at one side of the stage.  
EXTRAS enter at the other side and stand in a group.
If you don’t use EXTRAS, have NARRATOR stand center
while encouraging the congregation to act or feel along.)

NARRATOR   Imagine if you will –
.          that you think there must be some hope,
.          but you still feel hopeless.
.          Imagine if you were so lost,
.          you HAD to have help
.          in order to find your way home.
.          And without that help –
.          you would never find it.

READER     (Psalm 119:176  [NASB])
.          “I have gone astray like a lost sheep;
.          seek Your servant,
.          For I do not forget Your commandments.”

(EXTRAS mime helplessness, and then being cold.)

NARRATOR   Now imagine that you are a shepherd,
.          a shepherd which people like to bully
.          and make fun of when you go into town.
.          And then, while you are out on a lonely hill,
.          watching your sheep, you shiver from the cold,
.          dark night...  when all of a sudden,
.          a bright ray of hope shines down upon you!
.                                                       2
(If you can, have bright light shine into congregation.
EXTRAS shield their eyes and kneel.)

NARRATOR   Angels come to YOU with a message of hope!

READER     (Luke 2: 10-11 [NASB])
.          ...“‘Do not be afraid; for behold,
.          I bring you good news of great joy
.          which will be for all the people;
.          for today in the city of David
.          there has been born for you a Savior,
.          who is Christ the Lord.’”

(Bright light can be turned off,
EXTRAS kneel with hands folded in prayer.)

NARRATOR   Here is the hope!  Jesus, God’s only Son.
.          But time passes, so now let us imagine that
.          Jesus is now all grown up.  And He begins
.          to travel throughout your country.
.          And you hear about this Jesus, who with
.          God’s mighty power, is healing people.
.          Now - imagine this, that you were born
.          blind, deaf, or that you could never walk.

(EXTRAS act out these inflictions.)

NARRATOR   How will you ever get to Jesus?  But then,
.          after trying to do whatever you could,
.          Jesus comes to where you are, and heals you.

READER     (Matthew 15:30  [NASB])
.          “And large crowds came to Him,
.          bringing with them those who were lame,
.          crippled, blind, mute, and many others,
.          and they laid them down at His feet;
.          and He healed them.”

(EXTRAS act out that they are healed, and appreciative.)

NARRATOR   And now you get to hear Jesus teach.
.          Imagine that you are right there!
.          You can HEAR Him speaking, but He tells you
.          that you still might be deaf?  And even though
.          you can now SEE – you might still be blind?

(EXTRAS look at each other questioningly.)              3

NARRATOR   And even though you are right there –
.          you might still be lost?

READER     (Luke 19:10  [NASB])
.          “For the Son of Man has come
.          to seek and to save that which was lost.”

(EXTRAS look around again at each other wondering.)

NARRATOR   Imagine if you will, that for hundreds
.          of years your people have been waiting
.          for the perfect king to find you,
.          to completely heal you, to fix
.          all the problems all around you,
.          to make sure you have a perfect home.
.          NOW finally – the Perfect King has arrived.
.          Jesus has come to be our King and save us.

READER     (John 12:12-13  [NASB])
.          ...when the large crowd
.          “heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem,
.          (riding in on a donkey)
.          (they) took the branches of the palm trees
.          and went out to meet Him, and began to shout,
.          ‘Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes
.          in the name of the Lord,
.          even the King of Israel.’”

(EXTRAS shout “Hosanna! Hosanna!” and if you want,
they can wave palm tree branches.)

NARRATOR   But now imagine if you will,
.          that you did not fully understand
.          what this really meant.
.          You thought Jesus was coming
.          to make war against your enemies,
.          but instead, Jesus wants to bring in peace?
.          Even though God knew this would happen...
.          the people turn against Jesus.

READER     (Matthew 12:14  [NASB])
.          “But the Pharisees went out
.          and conspired against Him,
.          as to how they might destroy Him.”

(EXTRAS look around, suspiciously.)                     4

NARRATOR   Imagine feeling angry and confused.
.          Wondering what is going to happen?
.          And you become afraid.  You don’t want
.          anyone getting angry with you,
.          so you just go along with everyone else.

READER     (Matthew 27: 22  [NASB})
.          “Pilate said to them,
.          ‘Then what shall I do with Jesus
.          who is called Christ?’
.          They all said, ‘Crucify Him!’”

(EXTRAS all call out “Crucify Him! Crucify Him!”)

READER     (Matthew 27:23  [NASB})
.          “And Pilate said,
.          ‘Why, what evil has He done?’
.          But they kept shouting all the more,
.          saying, ‘Crucify Him!’”

(EXTRAS all call out “Crucify Him! Crucify Him!”)

NARRATOR   ...Imagine if you will...
.          Jesus is put to death, hung on a cross to die
.          for our sins, for all our mistakes-
.          and still – we make fun of Him - and
.          yell mean things to Him- and spit on Him –
.          and then – Jesus gives up His spirit
.          and breathes His last-  And when He died-

READER     (Matthew 27:51-54  [The Message])
.          “At that moment,
.          the Temple curtain was ripped in two,
.          top to bottom.
.          There was an earthquake,
.          and rocks were split in pieces.
.          What’s more, tombs were opened up,
.          and many bodies of believers
.          asleep in their graves were raised.
.          The captain of the guard and those with him,
.          when they saw the earthquake
.          and everything else that was happening,
.          were scared to death.
.          They said, ‘This has to be the Son of God!’”

(EXTRAS look fearful, and maybe shake                   5
like in an earthquake, but not in a comical fashion.)

NARRATOR   Now imagine- how afraid and sad you feel.
.          You begin to wonder what this all means.
.          You wonder - had Jesus been your only hope,
.          but now all was lost?
.          Well, three days later,
.          there is another earthquake.
.          You go to visit Jesus’ grave, and there-
.          you see an empty grave -
.          and an angel appears to give you a message-

(If possible, shine bright light at congregation.)

READER     (Matthew 28:5-6  [The Message])
.          “‘There is nothing to fear...
.          I know you’re looking for Jesus,
.          the One they nailed to the cross.
.          He is not here.
.          He was raised, just as He said.’”

(EXTRAS show great joy and relief.)

NARRATOR   Now, even though all we can do is imagine
.          what it must have been like to be there,
.          we can still see with our spiritual eyes
.          and we can see it for ourselves in the Bible,
.          and know - that we can believe and be saved.

READER     (1 Peter 1:8-9  [CEB])
.          “Although you’ve never seen Him,
.          you love Him.
.          Even though you don’t see Him now,
.          you trust Him
.          and so rejoice with a glorious joy
.          that is too much for words.
.          You are receiving the goal of your faith:
.          your salvation.”